Many years ago, back in the 1970’s, you could, on rare occasions, actually learn something watching a TV crime drama. And so it was that way back when, Dave watched an episode of Quincy, M.E., during which he learned a fact about how Jury trials can work that he retains even today. That single fact is helpful when we recall the purpose of the Jury is to serve as a mighty bulwark against government. To make certain that government isn’t allowed to just run roughshod over accused citizens.
At the same time, that simple fact also makes certain that a person who is guilty can’t hide behind confusion and misdirection.
Back in 2012, a man stood accused of hacking into PriceWaterhouse and stealing the Romney’s tax returns, which he threatened to release to the highest bidder if he didn’t get paid $1Million in digital currency. The self-named “Dr. Evil,” was about as competent as his nom de guerre, and ended up in the custody of the US Secret Service, who take a dim view of people threatening potential Presidents with blackmail. He denied being involved, of course, and eventually found himself sitting in front of a Jury as the Secret Service laid out their digital case against him.
It was extremely complicated, and for people who aren’t computer experts, somewhat confusing. To make sure that the Jury understood the case, the Judge allowed the same thing that Dave learned watching Quincy, M.E., all those years ago to happen…
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a… trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law….6th Amendment
In Yuba City, a Sikh man is told that he cannot serve as a juror as long as he refuses to remove his kirpan, a symbol of deep meaning and religious devotion to baptized Sikhs. This raises the question: Is there a “right” to serve on a Jury?” Does the need for public safety outweigh religious freedom? And what does it teach us about the jury system?
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence. – 6th Amendment
After a two year investigation, the Kaleys found themselves essentially destitute when the Government indicted them and froze all of their assets. The resulting case asked the question as to whether or not an ex parte forfeiture order based on the Grand Jury’s actions violates the 6th Amendments protections. In this version of Kaley v United States, the LPOV debates and discusses the merits and disadvantages of the Criminal Grand Jury and asks what we can learn about the process going forward.
Effective or Just Expensive?
In this version, which features several extended moments in the first segment of silence from Chattroom Jeff who’s microphone failed to record, resulting in the canonical version presented above, the LPOV takes a different tack on the Kaley case and discusses what exactly is “effective” counsel?